Who knew that zombie movies would break into the mainstream? I certainly didn’t as I never thought audiences would be willing to suspend their beliefs and enjoy all the things we, zombie movie fans, have enjoyed for decades. Zombieland is an exquisite zombie horror comedy featuring an excellent cast and superb visuals. It’s probably the best zombie comedy ever since Shaun of the Dead swept through the theaters in 2004. You might say that this is an American answer to that British masterpiece.
I mean, the movie opens with a zombie eating the brains of its helpless victim right in front of the White House. It doesn’t get more American than that. And make no mistake, Zombieland boasts an R rating featuring a lot of cool and very graphic scenes. So, it’s really not suitable for kids which is a decision I wholeheartedly support. I hate those PG-13 movies trying to make as much cash as it is zombiely possible at the box offices. Moving on, the movie doesn’t take itself too seriously and features a rather stylized, comic-book style of storytelling.
We will be following a small group of survivors as they travel the wasteland looking for refuge from those pesky zombies. A bit of friendship, romance, humor, and action and the already short running time (80 minutes) will feel much shorter. Add to this an awesome soundtrack and you got yourself a veritable hit. We will learn the rules of zombie survival while listening to Metallica’s For Whom The Bells Toll in the background for fuck’s sake! The carnage is gloriously bloody, visceral, and just fun, something that every zombie movie fan will surely appreciate.
On that note, you should also know that Zombieland features fast-running zombies, much like in another British classic 28 Days Later. The atmosphere is rather vibrant considering the fact that our protagonists roam a mostly empty post-apocalyptic wasteland. This type of environment showcases the triviality of our modern way of life and offers a refreshing break from the crushing wheel of capitalism. If we got to the point where the post-apocalyptic setting equals escapism, that says a lot about us and our society.
It’s been two months since the zombie apocalypse started and things are not looking good. They’re especially not looking good for Columbus, a young student who embarks on a perilous journey from Austin, Texas to his parent’s place in Ohio. Along the way, he meets Tallahassee, a strange but highly skilled survivor who joins him. And so the two of them start their adventure…
I’m not going to waste any time praising the cast of Zombieland as you know they’ve been great. I just want to say that Woody Harrelson might be the most versatile actor at this moment. And that Amber Heard still looks hot as shit as a zombie. It gave a whole new meaning to their Rule #2 Double Tap. On top of everything I’ve mentioned so far, the script was simply scrumptious. It’s full of quotable lines, funny back-and-forths, and even genuinely emotional moments.
It introduces a rational, scratch that, modernly rational approach to the zombie apocalypse viewed through the eyes of your average young human. Something that’s been sorely missing in the genre since forever. So, Zombieland is everything you would want zombie horror comedy to be and more. And I can’t wait for the sequel because we’re surely getting one.
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Amber Heard, Bill Murray